Though it may seem that John Bolton spent the last ten years constantly wiggling his mustache on Fox News, In his time off—between advocating bombing Iran, and advocating bombing North Korea, and advocating just bombing—John Bolton had a real job.
John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, chaired a nonprofit that has promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news, some of which was amplified by a Russian troll factory, an NBC News review found.
As reported by NBC, John Bolton headed up this Russian anti-Muslim collaboration until last month, frequently contributing speakers to RT, Sputnik and other Russia media, and providing a message that was overtly racist.
From 2013 until last month, Bolton was chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a New York-based advocacy group that warns of a looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death.”
If you’ve ever wondered where Donald Trump gets the impression that Germany and other nations that have accepted refugees are going up in flames, when in truth their rates of crime are far below those in the United States. Or that whole swaths of Europe are somehow “under Sharia law” or “no-go zones” for Christians … thank John Bolton.
Gatestone is “a key part of the whole Islamaphobic cottage industry on the internet,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group.
The perfect man to put in charge of America’s military policy.
Bolton wasn’t just a part of Gatestone. He was the head of it for five years. Five years that brought such reasonable material as claiming that Somali refugees had turned Sweden into the rape capital of Europe. The truth is that the listed rate of rape in Sweden has been far higher than other countries since it began publishing statistics in 1996 for three reasons: Sweden reports all forms of sexual assault together, it reports on incidents rather than convictions, and it reports on the count of incidents, not victims. The introduction of Somali refugees had nothing to do with it. Which is definitely not the impression generated by the Gatestone report, which dismisses the “feminist myth” that rape often comes from a pattern of domestic abuse, and instead loops back to 1975 to claim that rates for a “pure” Swedish population were much lower.
Gatestone isn’t just providing the Russia media with racist, anti-immigrant talking points. It’s also bringing Russia’s talking points to the west.
Alina Polyakova, a Brookings Institution fellow who studies far-right populism and disinformation campaigns in the European Union, said Gatestone is “putting out content that was clearly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and was echoing some of the Russian disinformation propaganda” being spread by internet trolls and on social media.
The information put forward by Gatestone was often played up by Russian bots and trolls. Meanwhile, Gatestone repeated Russian memes to provide the alt-Right with “research” that confirmed their racist fears and gave them “proof” that immigrants, particularly Muslims, were violent. All of it was designed to feed the demand for anti-immigrant “news” to feed both the anti-immigrant positions of Donald Trump and the Russian government.
And it wasn’t just Trump feeding off the hate being generated by Bolton.
Some of the group’s work was widely distributed, including a claim about Muslim-controlled “no-go zones” in France that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz cited in an op-ed during the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign.
John Bolton’s new position at the White House is less of an acknowledgement of his international knowledge, and more of a thank you for the big dollops of critical hate he provided for the Trump campaign.